The Cleveland Cavaliers, who stink real bad, lost to the Rockets in embarrassing fashion last night, by a score of 120-88. A 32-point blowout on national TV is about as bad as it gets, and the Cavs gave no indication that they are in any kind of shape to dig themselves out of this hole.
LeBron James scored 11 points on 3-of-10 shooting and was -17 for the game. Isaiah Thomas, who led the team in scoring with 12 points, went 5-of-13 from the floor and was -20. Basketball Reference now puts the Cavs’ defensive rating at 111.7, which is only two spots above the worst mark in the league. Even worse than the performance may have been the reactions of James and Thomas after the game. A defeated James barely even raised his eyes while telling reporters, “They should take us off every nationally televised game for the rest of the season.” Thomas, meanwhile, was feeling a little more accusatory:
This is pretty rich coming from Thomas who, hip injury or not, has been playing some of the most woeful basketball in the league since his return to the lineup, and generally looking like he doesn’t belong on an NBA court. If any Cavalier was within earshot of those comments, it’s hard not imagine their eyes rolling into the back of their head.
This is now life for the Cavaliers. Kevin Love is hurt, everyone seems to hate each other, LeBron James seems dangerously close to being completely checked out, and they are incapable of playing anything close to effective defense. All season people have wondered how the Cavs might use that 2018 Nets pick to trade for some reinforcements at the deadline, but at this point it seems unlikely that any trade would help all that much. Would adding DeAndre Jordan to this roster really make them championship contenders again? Would it even be worth finding out?